E Ink promises thinner lighter higher resolution and color epaper displays

first_imgE Ink is already doing swift business in the growing e-reader market, but just like any technology company, it can’t sit still for fear of being overtaken or made redundant. With that in mind, the company has used IFA 2011 to show us some future products and the latest updates to its displays that are coming to market.E Ink’s biggest success to date has to be the monochrome display found inside the best selling e-reader on the market: the Amazon Kindle. At IFA 2011 E Ink revealed some interesting facts about that monochrome display including how much potential it has for the future.First of all, the displays are made in rolls of up to 1km in length and over a meter wide. Those rolls are then cut to specification, connectors attached to allow integration with a circuit board, before being shipped to partners like Amazon. In other words, E Ink has no trouble producing millions of these displays in short order, showing us why Amazon has been able to meet demand for the Kindle despite its huge popularity.The resolution on the Kindle is SVGA, a mere 800 x 600 pixels and 167dpi. What you may not have known is that Kindle E Ink display is already capable of much higher resolutions, up to 12x SVGA in fact. The bottleneck isn’t the screen tech, but the underlying electronics capable of handling such a high resolution display.Anyone wondering what comes next for the Kindle also got a hint from E Ink as to whet we can expect from the next iteration of the device. E Ink is working with Epson to produce a chip capable of controlling a 300dpi e-paper display. If the Kindle remains a monochrome device, that higher resolution display is sure to feature in the next generation.If Amazon decides to create a Kindle Color instead, E Ink also has that covered with its latest Triton display. Triton uses the exact same monochrome E Ink screen, but overlays it with an RGBW color filter capable of 4,096 colors. That won’t challenge an iPad for color output, but then the Triton display retains the two month battery life, no power use when displaying a static image, and can be viewed easily in direct sunlight. We also can’t see any reason it wouldn’t also work with the forthcoming 300dpi screen.The good news is that Triton display isn’t in development, it’s actually already in mass production and will feature in a number of new e-readers coming to market soon. Unfortunately, E Ink didn’t tell us when or who is producing them.We can also look forward to E Ink’s displays getting thinner, lighter, and a lot more durable (shatterproof). The current generation display is laminated on to a glass substrate which has to be protected. That means devices need to be thicker to offer that protection, and that glass sheet makes them heavier. E Ink has come up with a plastic alternative to the glass which is thinner, lighter, and does not require the same level of protection while also not impacting the quality of the display output. In real terms, the existing E Ink displays are 200 microns thick where as the new ones are only 100 microns.Moving from glass to plastic also means E Ink can put their displays in more products. One of the first examples is credit cards, which can now have a multi-digit display for added security while not being any thicker than a standard card. Of course, this latest gen screen also means we can look forward to thinner, lighter e-readers too, as well as some rather unique uses such as an E Ink watch:E Ink also revealed their sales figures for the past few years purely for e-reader displays. In 2009 they shipped 3 million displays, in 2010 that increased to 10 million. This year they expect it to reach 25-30 million showing there’s certainly a growing market for low-power, highly-visible screens.Check out the video below for a demonstration of the latest E Ink displays as well as a good explanation as to how the E Ink technology works. I think you’ll agree, e-readers have a bright and colorful future ahead of them.via Charbax on YouTubelast_img read more